The 1000 years
1Then I saw an angel who was coming down from heaven. He had the key to the deep hole. #20:1 We read about this deep hole in Revelation 9:1,2. He also held a big chain in his hand. 2He took hold of the dragon. That dragon is really the Devil or Satan. He is the snake who has been there since long ago. #20:2 We read about the dragon in Revelation 12:3,4. The angel tied up the dragon with the chain. Nobody could undo that chain for 1000 years. 3Then he threw the dragon into the deep hole. He closed the door to the deep hole, and he locked it with the key. He put a seal on the door. During that time, Satan could not tell any more lies to the people of all countries. But after the 1000 years have passed, he must go free for a short time.
4Then I saw some thrones, and I saw people who were sitting on them. Those people had received authority to judge other people. I also saw the spirits of people who had died because they served Jesus. Their heads were cut off because they had spoken the true message about Jesus. They had continued to believe God's message. Those believers had not worshipped the wild animal or his idol. They had not received the wild animal's mark on the front of their heads or on their hands. Now they became alive again. They ruled as kings together with Christ for 1000 years. 5(But all the other dead people did not become alive again until the 1000 years had finished.) This is the first time that God would raise up dead people to become alive again. 6The people that God raises up to become alive again that first time are very happy people! They are God's own people. The second death has no power over them. Instead, they will be priests who serve God and Christ. They will rule as kings with him for those 1000 years.
God sends Satan into the lake of fire
7When the 1000 years have passed, God will let Satan go free out of his prison. 8Satan will then go and tell lies to people in countries all over the world. He will make them believe him. They call those countries Gog and Magog. #20:8 The prophet Ezekiel spoke about Gog, the leader, and Magog, his people, as great enemies of God's people Israel. He spoke about them many years before Christ came to the earth. See Ezekiel 38 and 39. Ezekiel said that God would destroy these enemies with fire from heaven. God himself would destroy them because they were such great enemies of his people. So John uses the same names when he describes the last war between God's people and Satan's people. Satan will bring them together to fight a war against God's people. Very many people will be in Satan's army. They will be as many as the bits of sand on the shore of the sea. #20:8 There is so much sand on the shore of the sea that nobody could ever count the bits of sand. 9They will go across the whole earth. They will arrive at the place where God's people are living. They will stand all round that place. It is the city that God loves. But fire will come down from heaven and it will destroy them all. 10The Devil had caused those people to believe his lies. So God will throw him into the lake of fire that burns withsulphur. That is the lake where he had already thrown the wild animal and the false prophet. As a result, they will have a lot of pain all day and all night. It will never finish.
God judges all the dead people
11Then I saw a great white throne, and God was sitting on it. The earth and the sky rushed away from where he was. There was no longer any place for them. 12Then I saw the people who had died. They were standing in front of the great throne. Important people were there, and unimportant people were also there. Then someone opened books to see what was written in them. God had written in them all the things that the people had done. Then someone opened another book which is God's book of life.#20:12 We read about God's book of life in Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8. God judged those people who had died. He looked in the books to see what they had done.
13The sea brought up all the dead people who were in it. Death and the dead people's place called Hades brought up all the dead people who were there too. Then God judged each person. God saw what they had done and he decided what was right. 14Then God threw Death and Hades into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death for people. 15God threw into the lake of fire anyone whose name was not written in his book of life.